Saturday, January 17, 2015

Anne Brontë's 195th birthday is celebrated on the web with several posts:  Giving the Forgotten Sister and Badass Feminist Author Her Due is the rather explicit title of Flavorwire's post:
Anne Brontë, born on January 17, 1820, is often the butt of Brontë jokes. She’s known as the forgotten Brontë sister, or the one with less talent compared to preternatural geniuses Charlotte and Emily. But this is a simplistic reading of her life. Anne lacked her sisters’ wild romanticism and affinity for dark heroes, but she had a strength and gift all her own, and leaves a strong feminist literary legacy. (Sarah Seltzer)
And you can also find vindications of the work of the youngest of the Brontë sisters on Hard Book Habits, Alba Editorial's Facebook wall, Legimus, Book Perfume, the Brontë Sisters,  etc.

Judith Mackrell in Wall Street Journal lists books on women coming of age:
Villette By Charlotte Brontë (1853)
4. Regularly overshadowed by the more famous “Jane Eyre,” this 1853 novel is far more astonishing, a furious, hallucinatory account of one young woman’s struggle to attain independence, happiness and purpose. Lucy Snowe, left penniless by family catastrophe, leaves England to find employment as a governess in Villette (a fictionalized Brussels), where she forces herself to limit her hopes and expectations to the simple project of survival. “In catalepsy and dead trance I studiously held the quick of my nature,” writes Lucy as she schools herself to accept her own meager stock of beauty and good fortune. But, despite herself, Lucy falls in love with Monsieur Paul, a small, volatile man of superficial “angles” and “darkness” but with an eccentrically tender heart. Brontë describes the physical pain of Lucy’s emotional reawakening with a shocking ferocity, but most startling of all is the novel’s conclusion. Brontë grants her readers the luxury of imagining “a happy succeeding life” for Lucy and Monsieur Paul but simultaneously makes it clear that fate will intervene to prevent it. Double endings were to become a fashionable novelistic device in the 20th century: In 1853, Brontë made hers a cry of anguish.
New Statesman reviews several books including Cowardice: a Brief History by Chris Walsh
Using texts from Kierkegaard and Stephen Crane, among others, Walsh explores how irony can express a cowardly refusal to commit to a project or a person, and Emily Brontë is cited for her fierce contempt for such cowardice in “No Coward Soul Is Mine”. (John Gray)
John Mullan talks about the novels of Hilary Mantel in The Guardian:
An Experiment in Love is her only novel written in the first person. Its narrator, Carmel, has arrived at London University in 1970, just as Mantel did. Her story moves back and forth between her experiences as a socially callow undergraduate and her childhood and adolescence in a northern mill town, where she has a convent education that recalls Mantel’s own. Carmel declares herself irreligious, yet adopts the Catholic lexicon of guilt, confession and restitution as soon as she tries to explain her younger self. You would not have to know anything of the author’s own life to feel that much of this narrative was based on her experiences and that, like Jane Eyre (a heroine whom Carmel has in her mind), we may therefore trust the narrator’s confidences.
The Australian explores the gardens in Central England:
Five minutes down the road from Chatsworth House is Haddon Hall, a 12th-century manor house that has been used as settings for the filming of Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. Its spectacular climbing roses, Elizabethan terraced garden and fountain terrace were redesigned by RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winner Arne Maynard in 2011 . (Judy Vanrenen)
The Irish Times reviews Weathering by Lucy Gray:
What else can be said of the elements that hasn’t already been said in classic literature – King Lear, Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations, to name a few. But Wood’s novel, loaded with pathetic fallacy and personification, manages to bring inventive descriptions to the universal. (Sarah Gilmartin)
The Times talks about the case of a student who is doing great at college after being told that she was not scholar material when she was at primary school:
“I did an exhibition on poverty which I presented to the university, and I did my assignment on comparing Jane Eyre with Oliver Twist.” (Jill Sherman)
The writer Anson Cameron  describes in Brisbane Times what is a common trend in journalism these days:
I've been doing radio for my newly released novel, The Last Pulse. The book involves a home-grown act of terrorism, or activism. A bankrupt South Australian farmer travels to Queensland with his daughter to blow up a cotton dam and bring water down the Darling to his drought-stricken people.
Most interviewers on radio haven't read it, so they know as much about it as you now do. Most interviews these days are done on the phone.
"Hi, I'm Janice from Tropic FM on the Capricorn Coast."
You begin to talk about something you care about and know intimately and something Janice doesn't and doesn't, which is weird - but not unpleasant - until she says, "I adore Maeve Binchy. Is your writing anything like hers?"
To confess you've never read Binchy is to admit a rancid ignorance to Janice and her listeners, the broad-hatted workers in the pineapple fields who haven't read Binchy themselves, but take it as gospel from Janice that she is a throwback Brontë.
Unshelved recommends some books:
How to Be a Heroine: Or, What I've Learned from Reading too Much by Samantha Ellis. While debating literature’s greatest heroines with her best friend, thirtysomething playwright Samantha Ellis has a revelation—her whole life, she's been trying to be Cathy Earnshaw of Wuthering Heights when she should have been trying to be Jane Eyre. With this discovery, she embarks on a retrospective look at the literary ladies—the characters and the writers—whom she has loved since childhood. From early obsessions with the March sisters to her later idolization of Sylvia Plath, Ellis evaluates how her heroines stack up today.
Die Welt (Germany) publishes an account of the 'seven stages of a writer':
1. 10 bis 20 Jahre. Kindliche Epiker gibt es nicht. Ausnahme sind die Schwestern Brontë, deren Spielwelten Angria und Gondal Vorstudien für ihre Romane waren. Quasikindliche Lyriker gibt es schon. Rimbaud hatte mit 19 sogar schon fertig. (Translation)
Tv e Gossip (Italy) interviews Aurora Guerra, author of the Spanish soap opera El Secreto de Puente Viejo:
Ad ispirarla sono state le storie classiche di Charlotte Brontë, dove intrighi, amori, misteri s'intrecciano spietatamente. (Fabiola Lucidi) (Translation)
El Tiempo (Colombia) interviews the writer Santiago Posteguillo:
 ¿Cuáles de estas historias han inspirado su trabajo como escritor? ¿Con cuáles se ha identificado?
Autoras como Charlotte Brontë son una gran inspiración para mí. Desde que leí Jane Eyre y me quedé impactado por esa maravillosa mezcla de intriga, pasión amorosa, crítica social y enorme entretenimiento.  (Translation)
ClicFolha (Brazil) talks about European classical literature:
Então vejamos: ocorre que comecei lendo, de cara, Willian Shakespeare e Walter Scott. Aí é a cúpula, estão no mesmíssimo patamar de Victor Hugo, Balzac, Tolstoi, Dostoiévski etc, guardadas as características e peculiaridades de cada um. Desse modo, qualquer restrição aos insulares se tornaria injusta. Contudo, quando li Emile Brontë, em “O Morro dos Ventos Uivantes”, as coisas começaram a mudar. Li o livro todo como quando se está comendo alimento insípido, ou seja, fica-se procurando alguma coisa que não se encontra que é o sal. Por outro lado , recusava-me a aceitar que não tinha gostado da obra que é da literatura clássica. (Norival Barbosa) (Translation)
Panorama (Italy) shares the ratings of Jane Eyre 2011 on Rai Movie (where you can watch the whole movie dubbed to Italian):
Tra le minigeneraliste free su Rai Movie la pellicola Jane Eyre ha conquistato 428 mila spettatori e l’1,61% di share. (Translation)
Wuthering Heights 1992 was aired recently on the Spanish TV station Paramount Channel and El Pais had a double blunder:
Aunque no alcanza la calidad del original filmado por William Wyler en 1939, esta nueva adaptación de la novela de Charlotte Brönte (sic and sic) resulta tan esmerada como respetuosa, sabe jugar con la intensidad dramática del relato y y cuenta con unos notables trabajos de la pareja protagonista. (Miguel Ángel Palomo) (Translation)
Critictoo (France) follows the career of Andrew Buchan:
On commence avec Jane Eyre, une adaptation du roman de Charlotte Brontë scénarisé par Sandy Welch pour BBC One, avec Ruth Wilson (The Affair) et Toby Stephens (Black Sails) dans les premiers rôles. Andrew Buchan endosse le rôle de St. John Rivers chez qui Jane Eyre se retrouve après avoir fui Thornfield. C’est une partie de l’oeuvre qui est traité assez rapidement et par conséquent, l’acteur possède un temps de présence limité, ayant quelques scènes avec Ruth Wilson avant que son personnage ne poursuive son parcours religieux. (Carole)
Il Foglio (Italy) talks about Pino Daniele:
Si poteva ridere dell’amore, prendersi in giro mentre si soffriva, non era tutto “Cime tempestose” e “Gatsby”, e potevo perfino abbandonare “Il maestro e Margherita” senza riuscire a finirlo mai più. (Annalena Benini)(Translation)
Pages Unbound posts a 'What a Charlotte Brontë Heroine Are You' quiz; Towleroad reminds us that Jeremy Steinman's power ballad It's All Coming Back To Me Now was inspired by Wuthering Heights; the Brontë Parsonage Facebook publishes more pictures of what's going on at the Parsonage in this closing period.


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